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5 Strategies that GMAT uses to distort meaning

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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2011, 16:14
Great stuff. Thank you for sharing. Waiting for version 3.0
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2011, 22:46
A great job...very clearly and thoroughly explained
Deserves +5 kudos....lol...
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2011, 04:07
Thanks e-gmat for this awesome, fantastic, and wonderful post.

Regards
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 07:12
Nice explanation on meaning..

Looking forward to more.

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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 05:52
Hello Payal,

Thanks for this awesomeness. This is probably the first of its kind and the best analysis I have seen on this topic. I was wondering when you plan to post the solutions to the recent questions.

-Ketav
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 12:22
Thank you..I am deciding on signing up for e-gmat ..still need to make up my mind though..
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 13:46
Hi I really liked the article but I am having trouble with understanding the meaning of the questions. I cannot see the shifts in meaning you talk about. I went through the videos about sentence sturture you mentioned regarding Sentence Structure, but I still cannot differeniate in terms of meaning on the answer choices. Do you have any suggestions on mapping questions to bring out meaning, advice, or lessons? Your help is sincerely appreciated!
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 13:55
Expert's post
Thanks @ketavgupte for your kind words. I am in the process of posting the solutions for the last set of questions in Strategies 4 & 5.

@nathandrake, let us know if we can answer any of your questions that can help you make your decision :)

@gmatpunjabi - interesting username! I am glad that you have gone through our sentence structure videos. I will need to understand your problem a bit more before I can give any suggestions for improvement. So do one thing - I assume you have read this article version 4.0. Pick out a 1-2 sentence pairs between which you cannot understand the meaning difference. Give me your analysis for what the meaning of each sentence is. I will then review your analysis and give you recommendations.
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2012, 16:18
@egmat-Payal Thank you for the compliment on the username. Thanks for taking the time to do this. It means a lot to me!!

So Here are my questions:

These questions come from the article you put together. The Question Numbers correspond directly with the Question Numbers in the V4.0 Article.

Question 1

B) Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.

My Interpretation: It says that in the Earthquake that happened last year buildings were destroyed that were built in violation of the City’s Building Code.

Since it uses Past Perfect Tense
1) Buildings constructed in violation of Building Code
2) Then Destroyed or Damaged in Earthquake

E) Last year some of the buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.

My Interpretation is that this sentence literally says the same thing. Last Year in the Earthquake the buildings destroyed and damaged in the Earthquake were in violation of the building code. I feel the Past Perfect tense portrays the same thing. Maybe I am relying just on the tenses not modifiers to determine the sequence of events.


Question 2
A) Gall's hypothesis of there being different mental functions localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today.

My Interpretation: In terms of grammar something about this question does not sound right. What I understand is Gall’s theory about mental function localized in different parts of the brain.

B) Gall's hypothesis of different mental functions that are localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today

My Interpretation: From what I see is that the hypothesis is about “of different mental functions” and that it is widely accepted today

C) Gall's hypothesis that different mental functions are localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today

My Interpretation: Looking at this choice doesn’t see a huge difference in meaning. It is like to me its saying the same thing exactly. I know it’s a difference of where that is placed but I cannot make out the difference in meaning.
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2012, 01:46
hello egmat,

Here's is one example I would wish if you could make some clarification of meaning on this
In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting East African cave paintings.
A. Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting
B. Leakey contributed to archaeology by her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and by painstakingly documenting
C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of
D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of
E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2012, 09:10
Expert's post
Great job at putting your analysis. Lets take each question one by one.

gmatpunjabi wrote:
Question 1

B) Some buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake last year had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.

My Interpretation: It says that in the Earthquake that happened last year buildings were destroyed that were built in violation of the City’s Building Code.

Since it uses Past Perfect Tense
1) Buildings constructed in violation of Building Code
2) Then Destroyed or Damaged in Earthquake

E) Last year some of the buildings that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.

My Interpretation is that this sentence literally says the same thing. Last Year in the Earthquake the buildings destroyed and damaged in the Earthquake were in violation of the building code. I feel the Past Perfect tense portrays the same thing. Maybe I am relying just on the tenses not modifiers to determine the sequence of events.


You are indeed correct in your assessment that you are not focusing enough on the modifiers and that you are relying only on the verb tenses. Let me prove this to you.

Your understanding of choice B is perfect. However there is a gap in your understanding of choice E. See it is very important to understand the role of each modifier in a sentence and this is where breaking your sentence down into its clauses helps. Lets see how:


Image

• Last year some of the buildings
o that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the earthquake
• had been constructed in violation of the city's building code.

So as soon as you break this down into clauses you see that “last year” does not even appear in the clause that has “in the earthquake”. In fact now you can see clearly that “last year” really provides timing information about when the buildings were constructed.


Image

So per this sentence (choice E) –
Last year buildings were constructed in violation of the code.
And then these buildings were destroyed in the earthquake.

Now this is perfectly logical meaning. But this sentence is incorrect because it changes the original intended meaning of the sentence. The original sentence did not say that the buildings were constructed last year. Per the original choice, we only knew that the buildings were destroyed in the earthquake last year. Now these buildings could have been constructed last year before the earthquake or much before last year. We do not know this timing. But per choice E, we know for sure that these buildings were constructed last year. And this is where the problem is.


Image

Break the sentence into its clauses so that you can clearly understand what the modifiers modify.
I hope this clarifies your confusion. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Image
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES THAT GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2012, 09:31
Expert's post
gmatpunjabi wrote:
Question 2
A) Gall's hypothesis of there being different mental functions localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today.

My Interpretation: In terms of grammar something about this question does not sound right. What I understand is Gall’s theory about mental function localized in different parts of the brain.

You are partially correct here. You only stated the theory – different mental functions are localized in different parts of the brain. You do not state that this theory is widely accepted today. Note how in the original sentence, this is clearly stated.

Gall's hypothesis of there being different mental functions localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today.

gmatpunjabi wrote:
B) Gall's hypothesis of different mental functions that are localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today

My Interpretation: From what I see is that the hypothesis is about “of different mental functions” and that it is widely accepted today

Exactly right. But note carefully that this choice does not state what the hypothesis is. It just states that the hypothesis is regarding the different mental functions. By the way these different mental functions are localized in different parts of the brain. But this choice fails to state what the hypothesis is.

gmatpunjabi wrote:
C) Gall's hypothesis that different mental functions are localized in different parts of the brain is widely accepted today

My Interpretation: Looking at this choice doesn’t see a huge difference in meaning. It is like to me its saying the same thing exactly. I know it’s a difference of where that is placed but I cannot make out the difference in meaning.

Ok the difference here is that this choice states the hypothesis – the hypothesis is that different mental functions are localized in different parts of the brain.

Looking at these two questions that you have posted, I feel you are having some trouble understanding the modifiers. I think you should revise your modifier concepts and just see how by placing things differently you can imply different things. Lets take another example:

Mary’s perception that living in city is more expensive than living in countryside is flawed.
Mary’s perception of living in city that is more expensive than countryside is flawed.



Can you spot the difference in meaning of the above two sentences?
I look forward to your response!!

Payal
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2012, 09:38
Expert's post
ruturajp wrote:
hello egmat,

Here's is one example I would wish if you could make some clarification of meaning on this
In addition to her work on the Miocene hominid fossil record, Mary Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting East African cave paintings.
A. Leakey contributed to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstakingly documenting
B. Leakey contributed to archaeology by her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and by painstakingly documenting
C. Leakey was a contributor to archaeology with her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and with her painstaking documentation of
D. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovery of the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and her painstaking documentation of
E. Leakey’s contributions to archaeology include her discovering the earliest direct evidence of hominid activity and painstaking documentation of


Hi Ruturajp,
I will definitely provide my clarification but first I would like to see your analysis of this question and where exactly you have problems in understanding this question.
Looking forward to your response.
Thanks,
Payal

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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2012, 07:45
Expert's post
A good question and a well formatted post. I like that. Kudos to you. I will respond to your post. But I want you to answer my question below first (remember I win if you learn :) ). This question is more of an inference question.

Which city does sentence 1 talk about? How does it differ from the city (referred to) in sentence 2?
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2012, 10:58
Sorry about the late post. Here is my response to your questions Payal and I have a few of more of my own.

Mary’s perception that living in city is more expensive than living in countryside is flawed.

My Interpretation: What I see within in this sentence is that there is an explicit comparison between “living in the city” and “living in countryside”. These two phrases basically are examples of perceptions. It goes on to say that living in the city perception is flawed.

Mary’s perception of living in city that is more expensive than countryside is flawed.

My Interpretation: What I am starting to see now is that is a sort of modifier. I still can’t grasp the meaning completely, but I do see an error in the modifier placement of that. Its like the placement of that now changes city and I feel the meaning of the sentence is nonsensical. Its like the meaning shifts from the perception to the noun city instead. I have been staring at this 2nd question for 15 mins lol. I think I finally see it the comparison has shifted from perceptions to city and countryside. Honestly I have no idea lol.

Review Material: The Manhattan Sentence Correctionl does not really focus on how the Meaning Changes with Modifiers. Its more about what parts of speech modify other parts of speech. Do you have any suggestions as this is one of the last topics I am having trouble with?
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2012, 21:40
Thanks for the useful post :)
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2012, 11:29
I just wanted to express my thanks to egmat and Payal. The information you provided in this article along with the free videos and Answers you all provided to my questions has given me the foundations to slowly pickup the slight changes in meaning in GMAT questions. Again Thank you for the help. I say it loud and clear if you need help with SC GOTO EGMAT!!!
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2012, 11:08
Hi guys, Thank you for this document. Will you guys be adding any more questions. I really found the examples and the exercise questions excellent for practice.
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 04:10
+1
Great post
Was looking for a thoroughly explained and detailed strategy and you provided it.
thks
deserves much more than the +1.
P.s. my first kudos goes to you :)
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Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version [#permalink] New post 05 Jun 2012, 21:58
Awesome document. Thank you so much for this resource.
Re: 5 STRATEGIES GMAT USES TO DISTORT MEANING - Final Version   [#permalink] 05 Jun 2012, 21:58
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